- ½ cup dry quinoa, pre-rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup cooked green lentils, well drained
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup gluten free bread crumbs or whole wheat panko bread crumbs(add additional bread crumbs if the meatballs need to be firmer and aren’t holding together well)
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 egg white (for vegan add 2-3 teaspoons water)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Add pre-rinsed quinoa and water to a medium pot, cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking 15 minutes or until water is completely absorbed. In the meantime, in a large non-stick skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil, heat to medium-low and sauté diced onions and bell pepper until tender about 4 minutes, add garlic, parsley and oregano and sauté one additional minute.
Remove quinoa from heat and allow to rest 10 minutes. Press down on quinoa with a paper towel to remove any remaining water.
In a large mixing bowl combine sautéed onion, garlic, parsley and oregano along with remaining ingredients, except oil. Use either a potato masher or fork and mash the ingredients until the lentils are well mashed. Using your hands, shape into 1 ½ “ (meatless) meatballs.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to a large non-stick skillet, heat to medium-low and add quinoa (meatless) meatballs. Brown meatballs, turn over and brown on the other side. Cook until browned and heated through, about 16 minutes. Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel.
If you plan to serve these (meatless) meatballs with marinara, add to the marinara sauce, gently turn to coat. Simmer until hot and serve over pasta.
These are a perfect food to eat prior to working out as they provide complex carbohydrates for energy and protein for building muscles. When on hand, I’ll have a few before a workout.
TIP: For a vegan version, use vegan egg replacer or 1 tbsp of flaxmeal mixed with 3 tbsp water rather than the 2-3 teaspoons straight water.